The crash test organization Euro-NCAP has tightened its criteria: A pedestrian emergency brake assistant is now also being tested. The first car to go through the new test is the Toyota Prius. It has reached the top rating of five stars.
The latest generation of automatic emergency braking systems stops the vehicle automatically when a pedestrian walks in front of the car. By including this assistance system in the criteria catalog for achieving the maximum number of points, the crash test organization wants to ensure that as many vehicles as possible are equipped with the assistance system as standard. For automakers, cutting four or five stars with their new cars is important.
Since small cars in particular are often not equipped with the latest assistance systems as standard, Euro-NCAP has introduced a new test category as part of the tightening of criteria. In the standard procedure, the car is still tested as it is in the basic version. At the automaker's request, the crash test organization can publish a second rating that includes assistance systems that are subject to a surcharge. The two-part cutting is also intended to make it clear to the consumer how great the safety gain of the optional safety package is.
The first car to pass the dual test is the Suzuki Baleno compact car. In the standard rating, it only achieved three stars, among other things due to the lack of an emergency brake assistant. Suzuki optionally offers a city emergency brake assistant, with which the Baleno has four stars according to the Euro NCAP rating.